Sabarimala review pleas in SC unlikely to be heard on 22 Jan; CJI says Justice Indu Malhotra's medical leave reason for delay

The hearing of pleas seeking a review of the Supreme Court's historic judgment permitting women of ages between 10 and 50 to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala is likely to be delayed further, with Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi saying on Tuesday that the constitution bench of the apex court may not take up the hearing on 22 January.

The chief justice said the delay is likely as Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone woman in the five-judge constitution bench that had delivered the verdict in the Sabarimala case, is on medical leave.

Review petitions are usually listed before the same bench that has heard, decided and pronounced a judgment on the main matter. 

Sabarimala review pleas in SC unlikely to be heard on 22 Jan; CJI says Justice Indu Malhotras medical leave reason for delay

File image of the Supreme Court of India. AP

"We will see," Gogoi said on Tuesday, when the matter was taken up in court by advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, who sought live streaming of the hearing.

On 28 September, 2018, the Supreme Court had said banning the entry of women inside the Sabarimala shrine is gender discrimination, and the practice violates the rights of Hindu women. The judgment was met with widespread protests in Kerala, which rose in intensity after two women, 39-year-old Kanakadurga and 42-year-old Bindu Ammini, entered the shrine on 2 January.

Devotees of "eternally celibate" Lord Ayyappa have believed in the tradition of banning the entry of women of menstruating age from the shrine for decades.

On 13 November, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Gogoi and justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, had agreed to hear review petitions against its 28 September judgment in the Sabarimala case on 22 January.

As many as 49 review petitions were scheduled to be heard in an open court. The decision to hear the review petitions in an open court was hailed as significant as review petitions are usually considered by judges in the absence of the arguing counsels and are most often dismissed, reported The Wire.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jan 15, 2019 12:50:41 IST

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